Studio Rygalik: Cooking Up Designs

The Polish design duo explain why food and its usage are the central concerns of their innovative design products

Studio Rygalik, Vienna Design Week 2011. Photography Nick Albert, Kollektiv Fischka

Warsaw-based Studio Rygalik, comprised of Tomek and Gosia Rygalik, produce playfully constructed design objects, many of them everyday products and food related: there’s a coffee table made from glued stale bread baguettes, or their intravenous drips of extra virgin rapeseed oil hooked-up and hung above the kitchen bench. “Food is a source of inspiration for our creativity”, says Gosia Rygalik, which has led them to produce works that both stir discussion and form a natural symbiosis with the activities they’re designed for.

The Polish duo describe The Kitchen as an “unconventional flexible space for preparing and tasting meals”. Standing on four legs with wooden backs, curved shapes and elongated arms, the pieces appear lanky, like creatures to be tiptoed around inquisitively.

Workshop table by Studio Rygalik
Workshop table by Studio Rygalik

There’s versatility to them, too; each design allows the pieces to be conveniently and comfortably arranged, whatever the constraints of the space. Not immediately obvious are the additional elements: breadbaskets, hotplates and hanging rails are discrete but in tune with the practical demands of an active kitchen.

Gosia Rygalik explains, “the project’s original aim was to start a discussion about food waste”, a problem universally ignored. The tables are constructed as they appear, from stale baguettes “cut off at different lengths and then glued together vertically, flat side down”. Part of The Total Bread experience at Vienna Design Week 2011, guests were invited to eat bread around the bread table. This slightly bizarre experience encouraged participates to be more aware of their own food wastage by showing how much bread is thrown away locally. “In Vienna, a city where so much food is wasted that it could feed half of the population of Graz, the project caused controversy,” said Gosia, whose theoretical research has long since been concerned with experiencing food and its uses.

Through this and similar projects, Studio Rygalik “create objects, dining experiences and workshops that explore the relationship between design, food and eating”. Over the coming months they will be working on creating their culinary experience for the annual Studio Rygalik birthday celebration during the Łódź Design Festival in Poland.